THERE is nothing like having a mineral discovery made on your own doorstep to sharpen your interest.
The palladium/gold oxides discovery on private farmland off Keating Road in the Julimar area is apparently of world significance, palladium being such a useful mineral with a value above that of gold.
While mining in WA has boosted the economy and provided jobs and infrastructure, it’s hard to consider the benefits from a closely located position.Read more
We sold a broadacre farm in the south east and moved here 24 years ago where we have developed an attractive lifestyle hobby farm with significant planting of trees and shrubs.
Little did we realise that we were destined to become witnesses and reluctant neighbours to a major mining development.
But now we are, and although we do not believe that the enormous ‘wheels of progress’ can in any way be halted, we rather wish we didn’t have such a prime box seat to the action.
We fear that the Julimar Conservation Park that surrounds our property on two sides will inevitably succumb to the demands of the mine, at least in the long run.
We cannot say what disruptions of dust, noise, traffic or other unforeseen hazards might be part of developing such a significant mine site.
It is early days, and the mining lease has to pass several approval processes.
An official from Chalice Mining has visited us and assured us that it would be sometime before mining operations would commence.
Our concerns for the environment and the possible destruction of part or all of the surrounding forest with all of the loss of habitat and plant cover has of course been assuaged by the assurances of the company representative that such disruption will of course be minimal.
Our particular unease about possible excessive water consumption and the production of waste sludge at the mining site was not met with any real concern.
Since we are not on mains water and rely on rooftop water collection for all our water needs, this is no minor worry.
Our concern about this extraordinary development literally on our doorstep is tempered by a fatalistic regard for history.
If this mining discovery is as important as it seems, who are we to oppose it?
It may be a very important part of bringing on a shift to renewable and we are a very small consideration in the overall picture.
However, our concern lies with such stuff as the question of where Native Title comes into such a major development.
If this mine is to go ahead, what do the Aboriginal people have to say about it?
Do they know what’s proposed?
How do they get consulted on this?
Realistically, we are old and probably don’t have a lot of time to worry about living here, but the possible destruction of the forest is overwhelmingly depressing, particularly as we have spent the past quarter century building up something akin to a botanical park.
Lyn Dyke and John White